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Columbia University Course/Program Name
Application closes on
National :07 Apr 
International :07 Apr 

MA Hispanic Cultural Studies

 Course Level
Masters / PG
Full Time

2 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

54360 USD
54360 USD

Application fee

International 105 USD
National 105 USD
Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)7.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)100
TOEFL-PBT (min)600
GRE (avg)315

World University Ranking

About this course

The Master’s in Hispanic Cultural Studies program is a freestanding, one-year course of study that aims to provide students with a rigorous foundation on the critical issues attendant to Hispanic cultural production. The Master’s program may be undertaken as a preparatory degree to apply subsequently to doctoral programs in the field or as a terminal degree by those interested in pursuing careers in education, publishing, government, journalism, literary translation, or non-profit organizations. The program aims to attune students to key theoretical issues and to orient them toward cultural studies as opposed to exclusively literary studies.

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Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for admission, applicants must have earned a bachelor's degree by the date in which they enroll at the Graduate School.

All international students whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate degree is from an institution in a country whose official language is not English must submit scores of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS.

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Course Modules


Students enrolled in the Master’s in Hispanic Cultural Studies program must complete a total of eight course units in one academic year, with a minimum grade of B-. Normally a student takes four courses during the fall semester and four in the spring. Master’s students can register in any seminar taught in the department at the graduate level (4000 level or higher).

A minimum of two courses must be taken outside the department in related disciplines, such as Anthropology, History, Women Studies, Art History, Music, Education (at Teacher’s College), among others. A maximum of two electives per semester may be taken outside the department, and a total of four external electives may be pursued throughout the course of the M.A. program, all with prior approval from the DGS. For the departmental electives, students choose among all of the graduate-level courses taught at LAIC.

Any student who does not comply with the announced deadlines for exams and papers will have the grade for the written exercise in question lowered. Exceptions will only be made in the case of a medical emergency. For the sake of equity, students cannot make special arrangements with their professors regarding the timetable for submission of final exams or papers, except in medical emergencies. Incomplete grades may not be carried from semester to semester, except in emergency circumstances. Students who have completed all work for a course and have not received a final grade for the course one month after the due date of the final paper are urged to notify the Director of Graduate Studies and the Director of Administration as soon as possible. Incomplete grades that are not removed by the submission of a qualitative grade by the instructor within one month of the due date of the final paper will be changed to a final grade of “F.”

Master’s essay

During the spring semester, students devote time to the preparation of a Master’s Essay that fulfills the research component for the Master’s degree. To fulfill this requirement they expand and rewrite an essay that they wrote in the fall or propose a new topic for the exercise. In the latter instance, they must receive approval for the topic from the Director of Graduate Studies.

The Master’s Essay is written under the supervision of a faculty member and in the context of an independent study that carries the course designation SPAN G9811 (Supervised Individual Research). The essay should be 9,000-10,000 words in length (including notes and documentation), it is written in Spanish, and is evaluated by the student’s adviser and a second faculty member chosen by the DGS.

A typical course of study for the Master’s in Hispanic Cultural Studies is as follows:


  • Departmental elective (4000 level or higher)
  • Departmental elective
  • Departmental elective
  • Elective outside the department


  • SPAN G9811: Supervised Individual Research
  • Departmental elective
  • Departmental elective
  • Elective outside the department

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How to Apply

Candidates for admission to the Master’s program should have an exceptional undergraduate record, strong letters of recommendation, and excellent fluency in Spanish. The online application must be submitted to the Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences no later than April 7, 2017, and its required components are:

  • Copies of all undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation from academic recommenders
  • A personal statement about intellectual interests
  • A writing sample, preferably in Spanish (10-15 double-spaced pages in length or approximately 3,000 – 4,500 words; see the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about the writing sample)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores from all international students who are not native speakers of English (unless they have received an undergraduate degree at a U.S. college or university). Applicants should arrange to take the test by a date that guarantees that scores will be forwarded to Columbia University by the application deadline or soon thereafter. Visit the TOEFL site for questions about the test.

International students should consult the GSAS page on admissions, as well as the comprehensive site maintained by the Columbia Office for International Students and Scholars.

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